THEY first laid eyes on each other while they were both students at the University of the South Pacific (USP).
Sunia Vosikata, was a commerce student and Alanieta Waqanicagica a science student, and when the couple had their official date during lunch time at the university, it felt like the longest meal ever.
"We started off through emails and the first time we met was on the steps on my way to a class," Sunia said of that day. "I ended up being late to the class but we hit it off from there. Our first official meet, (not counting the hi and byes outside the lecture theatres after classes), was for a lunch date at the university palm court. It took me a long time to finish the sandwich I was having and even had some leftovers. I came from a boarding school so at that time, I was extremely shy. Couldn't recall what I said because I was quiet most of the time," he said with a laugh.
"I think that was the only time I've seen him so quiet," agreed Alanieta.
"He was such a gentleman from the beginning and he has such kind eyes. "It was love at first sight and there was no looking back after we hit it off that day at USP."
Sunia is the youngest of five siblings. Born in Suva, he has links to the villages of Matainoco in Tailevu and Qalikarua on the island of Matuku, in Lau. He is now employed at the Fiji National Provident Fund in the IT services. While Alanieta, also the youngest of six siblings "and a favourite child" of her parents is a doctor by profession. The Veinuqa, Tailevu native has maternal links to Moce in the Lau Group.
The couple finally tied the knot at the Pearl Fiji Resort on December 10, 2016 — more than 10 years after that first date.
"My first impression of Ala was was that she was very independent. She is also ambitious and intelligent. However what caught me was that with all these qualities, she was at the same time very caring and kind with a humble heart," said Sunia.
Cutting in, Alanieta said it was Sunia's love letters that won her over. "He blew me away with his wise quotes and impressive English language letter writing skills. That indicated to me that he was not only intelligent but liked me enough to take the time to write me an impressive handwritten letter. He was different and I liked different and it wasn't that bad that he was easy on the eyes too," she added with a smile.
Their special day was accompanied by a slight drizzle as friends and family of the couple gathered from Fiji and abroad to witness their wedding.
Prior to the wedding day, the couple had a traditional tevutevu or presentation of wedding gifts from the couple's family at Sunia's family home in Nabua.
"About 200 of our family and friends from Fiji and abroad were there to witness as we exchanged vows in an ocean view overlooking Beqa Island under an umbrella of fairy lights," described Alanieta.
"Sunia wore a tux and I wore an ivory white lace dress with a long veil. Hair and Makeup Perfectionist were kind enough to do the bridal party hair and make-up. My sister Ruci prepared by bouquet — I loved it so much. My other sister Sala was my maid of honour and Vili, Sunia's cousin was his best man. My mum's namesake Rai was our ring bearer and Pastor Ketedromo did our pre-marriage counselling and wedding ceremony as well.
"Later we had the reception at their Civa Convention Centre, Pearl wedding co-ordinator Melina was the best, she basically did everything for us."
So what's the couple's favourite way of spending time together, we ask?
"Hanging out in an eatery debating about issues that may never affect us and taking pictures of sunsets, flowers and of Alanieta," Sunia said with a smile.
"Most of our time together is spent around food — sad but true. Sunia is very smart and quirky too, so we like to challenge each other by debating all kind of topics from why the sky is blue to why Fiji lost the last sevens game. He usually likes to take the defensive side or break down my theories just to annoy me but I love it!
"Our wedding was an absolutely amazing day for us and was so nice to celebrate it with the people that meant a lot to us and to finally say I do to my soulmate," she said with finality.